Hurricane Michael aftermath may cause record highs in northeast Florida

Hurricane Michael aftermath may cause record highs in northeast Florida

And its low pressure - the lower the pressure the more severe the storm - also set an October record of 919 millibars.

The strength of Michael may be reflective of the effect climate change has on storms. Reaching the worst-hit areas wasn't easy.

"Today is the day".

In South Carolina, emergency management officials were continuing to monitor to the storm in anticipation of "heavy rain, gusty winds, possible tornadoes" and other hazards. Meanwhile 350 Florida Highway Patrol troopers have been dispatched to assist with storm preparations.

Scott said one benefit of the rapidly moving Michael was that it hit during the day and was out of the state before sunset.

According to Hal Austin, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Newport, Michael is moving through SC as of Thursday morning.

"Storms are known to do this, but normally we see this happening when it's away from land", Matyas said.

Michael could dump up to a foot (30 centimeters) of rain over some Panhandle communities before its remnants go back out to sea by way of the mid-Atlantic states over the next few days. It also set off transformer explosions and knocked out power to more than 388,000 homes and businesses.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., tweeted late Thursday morning that President Donald Trump granted a request for federal assistance for 14 counties: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, and Wakulla.

Red Cross officials say 7,800 people were in 100 shelters across three states.

"It's our first storm (forecast) to be on top of us", Mollie Williams, a 17-year resident, said warily. But the surging seawater could also create perilous problems far from the coast, raising rivers and bays to risky levels as it pushes as much as 10 to 15 miles inland. Homes were swallowed in storm surge. "You want to check on things and begin the recovery process", Mr Scott said.

Hundreds of thousands of people were ordered to evacuate their homes and the governor told residents who had not done so to "hunker down and be careful".

"Think about what we've seen before with storms like Hurricane Irma", he said.

Where did the storm make landfall? "There were several times I thought maybe I should have left".

Travis Brooks, Director of Seminole County's emergency management agency, told ABC News there was "complete and total devastation".

The National Weather Service office in Tallahassee issued a dramatic appeal for people to comply with evacuation orders.

"Water will come miles in shore and could easily rise over the roofs of houses", he said.

Tallahassee International Airport ‏is suspending commercial flight activity as 12:01 a.m. ET on Wednesday but expects to resume activity on Thursday.

- Staying safe: almost 6,700 people took refuge in 54 shelters in Florida.

Ken Graham, director of the Miami-based National Hurricane Center, said Michael is "unfortunately, a historical and incredibly unsafe and life-threatening situation".

Harvey and Michael didn't strengthen quite so much, so fast, but they rapidly intensified in the crucial hours before making their final continental USA landfalls. "It will be life-threatening and extremely unsafe". NPR's Emily Sullivan reports state and local governments are preparing for torrential downpours.

In many cases, the maximum wind speed isn't the biggest factor in how deadly or costly a hurricane wound up being. "It sounded like 40 jet engines going off".

Michael is the strongest hurricane to strike the Florida Panhandle since the mid-1800s, according to FEMA.

SULLIVAN: That's Florida Governor Rick Scott. Downgraded to a tropical storm over south Georgia, it was weakening by the hour. No longer. Michael was expected to bring surging seas up 9 feet (2.75 meters) above ground level at Keaton Beach. Houses were cracked open to reveal sodden furniture and wrecked belongings.

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